ERIC Number: EJ832594
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
Impact of Coercive Tactics on the Decision-Making of Adolescents with Intellectual Disabilities
Khemka, I.; Hickson, L.; Casella, M.; Accetturi, N.; Rooney, M. E.
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, v53 n4 p353-362 Apr 2009
Background: High rates of victimisation have raised concerns about the ability of adolescents with intellectual disabilities (ID) to avoid and escape from harmful situations and to make decisions in their own best interest. The present study was designed to assess the impact of specific coercive tactics on the decision-making of adolescents with ID. Method: Forty-eight adolescents with ID participated in the study. They were asked to respond to a series of brief vignettes depicting equal numbers of situations involving coercion with a lure, coercion with a threat, and no specific coercive tactic. Performance was assessed in terms of independent, prevention-focused decisions, reporting decisions and responses to fact and inference comprehension questions. Results: Overall, participants suggested independent, prevention-focused decisions only about half the time. They were more likely to suggest independent, prevention-focused decisions in situations with no specific coercive tactic or coercion with a lure than in situations involving a threat. However, reporting decisions were more likely in situations involving coercion with a threat than in the other two conditions and both fact and inference comprehension were best in situations involving coercion with a threat. Conclusions: Results indicated that adolescents with ID are not well-prepared to handle situations on their own that involve coercion, especially coercion with a threat. Because comprehension did not appear to be a key source of the decision-making difficulty in this study, further research is needed to examine all aspects of the decision-making process as a basis for the design of effective interventions.
Descriptors: Comprehension, Mental Retardation, Prevention, Adolescents, Program Effectiveness, Inferences, Decision Making, Vignettes, Performance, Victims of Crime
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A